Surface response of blind thrust shown from high resolution topographic data and updated geochronology at Wheeler Ridge, CA
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Wheeler Ridge is an asymmetric east-propagating anticline (10km axis, 330m relief) above a north-vergent blind thrust deforming Quaternary alluvial fan and shallow marine rocks at the northern front of the Transverse Ranges, San Joaquin Valley, CA. This area was a research foci in the 1990's when the soils, u-series soil carbonate dating, and subsurface structure of deformed strata identified from oil wells were used to create a kinematic model of deformation, and estimates of fault slip, uplift, and lateral propagation rates. A recent collection of light detection and ranging (lidar) topographic data and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) data allow us to complete meter scale topographic analyses of the fluvial networks and hillslopes and correlate geomorphic response to tectonics. We interpret these results using a detailed morphological map and observe drainage network and hillslope process transitions both along and across the fold axis. With lidar topography, we extract common morphometrics (e.g., channel steepness-- ksn, eroded volume, hillslope relief) to illustrate how the landscape is responding to variations in uplift rate along the fold axis and show asymmetry of surface response on the forelimb and backlimb. The forelimb is dominated by large drainages with landslides initiating in the marine units at the core of the fold. Our topographic analysis shows that the stream channel indices values on the forelimb increase along the fold axis, away from the propagation tip. The backlimb drainages are dominantly long and linear with broad ridgelines. Using lidar and fieldwork, we see that uplifted backlimb surfaces preserve the deformed fan surface. The preliminary OSL results from alluvial fan units improve age control of previously defined surfaces, refining our understanding of the deposition and uplift of alluvial fan units on preserved on backlimb.